Sunday, April 25, 2010
While I am considerably fascinated with the stars, the skies, and all things above, my actual book knowledge is minimal. However, upon hearing the word 'Supernova' repeatedly in the last week, I felt I might be drawn to how it relates to my life right now. The definition spoke to me...on many levels.
Supernova: "The supernova is bounded by an expanding shock wave, and consists of ejected energy expanding from the explosion. This energy sweeps up and shocks along the way. Perhaps the most famous and best-observed young Supernova was formed by SN 1987A, a supernova that appeared in 1987 (and exploded approximately 168,000 years ago)".
The supernova activates enormous waves of motion. It flings energy into the universe...and takes unexpecting, unsuspecting matter with it. This is not an anticipated event...there is no preparing. The event results in absolute change..there is no choice.
The other side of the supernova is it's longevity. We aren't even aware of it when it actually occurs. If a supernova happened right this very minute...we would never see the burst in our lifetime. Astonomers see the glory of it...the beauty and the triumph of the blast long after the first shock wave. They weren't even born when it began....nor were their parents, or their grandparents....not even ten times their great grandparents. It created absolute motion in history...absolute change for generation upon generation...it affected the universe then, now and continues outward.
However...the matter caught in the incredible velocity of the bang...is forever flung forward and outward. It spirals out, at great force...affecting that which it touches, because it, itself was forced to leave a familiar, comfortable orbit.
I might not be happy with the supernova events in my life...but they MUST propel me forward, and outward from mundane expectancy. The shock wave whisks me into being a catalyst for change. The awareness begins with an unchangable event...and causes me to affect MY universe, like that which pushed me out of my comfort zone. And just like that supernova originates with a single blast... that which has unmeasurable impact...so does each action I choose to affect my world with.
May each extension of kindness, compassion and awareness honour the original detonator...the spark to the dynamite....the match to the wick...the Mikey B. to the Jenny G...xo
Monday, April 19, 2010
Have you ever loved something that you have purchased? Have you waited...saved for..and hoped for that garment, hoping to make it a part of your world?
There was once a man, who saw a comfy, warm, grey sweater in a store. He immediately loved it. He held it against his torso, to see if it would fit....he felt that texture of the fibres...soft, nubby...comfortable. When he checked his wallet...he realised, that he was short of the asking price. With a small amount of disappointment...he put down the sweater, and left the store.
He thought of it all week...and knew when he was paid next, that would be the first place he would go. The day finally arrived..and with expectation and excitement, he purchased the grey sweater. As he was leaving the store, he ran into a friend, and even then...his pride overtook him, and he showed his friend his new purchase. He couldn't wait to get home and put it on.
The first time he wore the sweater...he felt like a million bucks. He got compliments on how great it made him look, how it fit like a glove. This feeling continued...everytime he wore it, he loved it more.
As the sweater began to take on a life of it's own....it became the standby...the go to article that made the man feel good. Through the years, it may have gotten frayed around the elbows...it may have had some pulls in the yarn....but he always loved and adored it...it was a part of him. He took it with him when he travelled...and left it in the car as a "just incase".
One blustery Fall afternoon...he came out of work, to find his car had been broken into....his phone was gone..the change in his coffee reserve jar was gone...right down to the penny. But the most heartbreaking item to be stolen...was the grey sweater. His heart sank....his palms got sweaty....he felt angry and intent all at the same time...." I MUST find my sweater....I love it...it's a part of me".
For weeks...he looked intently at every stranger passing, he checked second hand shops..he even looked more closely at garbage bins...hoping for a miracle. And just as he had given up all hope...and thought his pursuit may never bring back that which was lost...there it was....the item he had been yearning for. The thief had a moment of clarity...the thief had no need for this item...the thief left it beside the car, with a note saying..." I know you must have loved this sweater...it smells like you, and it is your fit....I can't use it..it belongs to you".
He immediately put it on, right there in the parking lot. That which had cost him much...that which had become a part of his entity...that which DID NOT belong to the thief. The rightful ownership was to the man who loved it from the first moment he laid eyes on it...the man who purchased it at great cost... and tirelessly searched for it to bring it back home.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
21 grams. The medical community has long concluded...the weight of a soul escaping a body results in a loss of 21 grams. This is equivalent to 0.05 lbs. Barely measurable...easily overlooked...an infinitesimal weight...unless you knew the soul.
How interesting that something so minute represents the complete essence of a human. That piece of existence...that passes from time into eternity, contributes so very little to the physical body...but without it, the gift would be empty on the inside...no matter the beauty of the wrapping.
Something interesting about the number 21....a parallel port if you wish....Pier 21 in Halifax was, from 1928 to 1971, the place where immigrants entered Canada. It was called the "Gateway of Hope." It was where people ending an exhausting journey were ushered into a new land...a new adventure. Their past reality was of no importance...and their new world was in front of them. All they had to do, was leave a little something behind....the weight of their past life.
I am amazed that there is any weight associated at all with the soul. For all of those skeptics out there who believe that this life ends when the last breath is drawn..I am sure this information is unsettling. But I know, that as I grow older...and still feel like my 18 yr old self...it is my body that is changing and aging..and not my soul...my soul belongs to eternity, my body is bound to earth.
So what to do with my 21 grams while it has an earthly postal code? Before it abandons a familiar existence for an unfamiliar horizon?
Make it work hard. Measure its weight daily in acts of hope. Let it be amplified and stretched to expected limitations...and pushed beyond what is merely acceptable, to that which is extraordinary.
C.S.Lewis summed it up impeccably for me..." You don't have a soul. You HAVE a body. You ARE a soul". May your 21 grams find a unique and singular purpose in this brief human life. May they strive to serve this world, while being mindful of the tug towards an exhilarating port of call...one step off the ship of humanity. May your 21 grams be missed not for their lack of weight...but for their irreplacable imprint on your world.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The stopwatch. The snooze button. The countdown on my microwave as I wait for something cooking...what makes these items all condusive to my life? They measure time.
Everytime I stand in wait for something in my microwave...as I watch those numbers count backward...29..28...27.......4..3...2...1...I think everytime...those were seconds of my life. I don't get them back. I stood for 30 seconds, and watched time slip in front of a stainless steel microwave. I think about how much of my life is on cruise control. How I can get to the end of a day, and not remember much about the activities, or interactions that brought me to another sunset. Was I truly on autopilot all day?
When I think about all of the things that are beating along in perfect time without interuption, I am wildly astounded at the complexity of Gods measuring tools. That which is not tangible, but is certainly contributing to our very existence...our life force. Your heart beats in time...your blinks are not a spontaneous rhythm...the music you listen to has a precise time signature. It wouldn't be considered music if it consisted of chaotic, random notes, and no specific beat. Seasons have their natural ebb and flow, without any of our contribution at all. They arrive and depart in compliance with a divine agenda from the heavenlies.
I know so many who live life in the meantime. WHEN I get that job...WHEN I move there...WHEN I have kids...I will be complete. I don't believe life is about feeling totally at rest. That's not to say that we should be unsettled and restless...but what it does mean, is we should continually race towards a new personal best, once the last marker of personal best was surpassed. I believe the most authentic appraisal of personal greatness, is how you are affecting your world...how you spend your time with those who need YOU most.
If our steps are ordered by the Lord,and the completion of our breaths are counted
before our birth, then I believe each millisecond of time should be lived as a symphony of service. Service isn't necessarily the act...it is having the heart of a servant. It's saying..."All things flow freely to me, and from me...my hands are open...nothing truly belongs to me..not even my next breath." I believe that going through life with this sobering acknowledgement, surely changes the way you see the world.
"Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors." ~the Bible
May we live life with open hands...so all that life has to offer comes and goes freely to and from us. May our hands reach beyond our fingertips, and rise to the great challenge of service. And when we meet our Creator someday...may He look contemplatively at our hands, and exclaim with pride..." you understood the lesson my beloved, and your hands touched the world as mine did...your time on earth was well spent...not a second was wasted".
Saturday, April 3, 2010
All of heaven celebrated on February 13th, 2010, when my friend came back home. That guy in the American Eagle t-shirt and baggy jeans, who had an infectious laugh was ushered into the heavenlies that morning. I believe without a moments pause or a second thought, he was instantly there... to be seperate from the body, means to be present with the Lord. I know there wasn't even a blink of time where he was in between. He merely flashed from time, into eternity.
Life has been considerably different since he went back home...I am certainly not the same woman. My faith is restored, not only in my God, but also in the people I am doing life with. My small circle of eclectic, incredible friends has increased immensely since he went beyond the veil. I am continually blessed...I am daily receiving gifts from this sometimes heavy grief.
Michael's life demonstrated to me, the very character of Jesus. He didn't conform, he called it like he saw it, and he was a fierce defender of those in society who are helpless and defenseless. He was an incredible friend...a friend worth talking about with pride and honour. He confirmed that NO ONE is outside of the love of God. He proved to me, that God will pursue us, and make us believers in His unfailing passion for us...no matter the years of resistance, or denial about his grace, or His very existence. He also proved to me, that you don't have to fit the mould...I don't think he did anything in a traditional sense! But I know he loved God and believed in the blinding power or redemption...even if he said F**K more than anyone I have ever known!
I have been thinking this weekend...Michael is spending this Easter in heaven. Michael gets to wrap his arms around Jesus, and express his gratitude face to face. And Jesus undoubtedly, will look into Michael's sweet brown eyes and say with conviction..." Michael...my friend...my beloved friend, if it had been ONLY you...I still would have chosen the nails". I expect Michael will grab the scarred hands of his Saviour...look down at them with humility, and whisper the only words to be found...."Thank You".
He now has the priviledge of knowing the long term affect his life is going to have on all of us. He can see the beginning from the end, because he is outside of the confines of time. He can see the generations that are going to be altered because of his legacy. I know he didn't think he was that powerful....(his words, not mine!) but I think he forgot about who God had called him to be. I remember saying to him, "Mike, God doesn't call the qualified...He qualifies the called".
This night...as I prepare to go to sleep, I know I will wake tomorrow with the knowledge in my heart that Easter is being celebrated in heaven with my friend. I am picturing my entrance into heaven someday...and the man who will be there waiting for me, arms ready to welcome me...and a radiant smirk, like only he had. I know he will embrace me like he did the last time I saw him, only this will be a welcome...and there will never be anymore seperation or grief. I know, he will look me in the eye, and say, "I've missed you hon..I need to introduce you formally to someone...I think you might already know Him ;)" He will take me to my Saviour, where I will wrap my arms around Him, and get to express my gratitude...face to face. And Jesus will look into my blue eyes, and say with ultimate conviction.."Jenn...my friend, my beloved friend...if it had been ONLY you...I still would have chosen the nails".
Thursday, April 1, 2010
As I ponder spring, I see the world wake again from it's wintery slumber. I am feeling that biting wind become a lazy, fragrant breeze. It doesn't sting as it did not long ago, rather, it brushed past me with a delicate whisper of renewal.
I saw hopeful green buds on a tree today. I saw crocuses on my front lawn last night. Random little violet blossoms that studded the pathway to my front door. They weren't planted there...but they somehow found their way to my corner of the world, and laid dormant until the symphony of spring commenced, and called them into life.
They were there before my knowing. Their destiny road mapped long before the snow receeded, and they were summoned to grow.
What about the seeds inside each of us? What about the winter of dormancy that causes us to lose hope in the beauty of the future bloom? The growing is hard...it is under the soil, it is in the darkness of the earth that the real work is being accomplished. And at the moment of fruition... where the struggle to make it out of the seed, and to journey toward fresh air and the warmth of the sunlight is realised...the proof is concrete...the result is definite....it ALL makes perfect sense in that instant.
In essence...if you are looking for an analogy, those things that are the most beautiful in life, often come out of the mire of our hopelessness. In nature, seeds need to go into the earth, in order to develop into their authentic, exquisite, predestined brilliance. They have no other choice, but to listen to the gentle awakening...and to begin the journey towards daylight. And when the breakthrough has been made, and the vibrancy of the flower is demonstrated, it is for the world to see...it is a declaration of the journey...it was WORTH it.
And this weekend, as I ponder my Saviours death, I reflect back on the parallel nature of these visuals. Jesus died...and was put into the earth. His death was the acceptable ransom, that allows ME to live under the umbrella of God's unfailing grace and mercy. And just as the world would believe, that the story surely ends once a body lays in the tomb...I am resolute in confirming...death doesn't win when the earth swallows the body.. and the grave doesn't complete the story. My friend, the story merely laid dormant for 3 days...and on that glorious Sunday, death lost its sting as Jesus burst from the earth, VICTORIOUS over the grave.
On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we'll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: mortal will be replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who's afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and guilt that gave sin its leverage and destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three — sin, guilt, death — are gone, the gift of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
~1 Corinthians 15:55-58